TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:FWD: Re: Knocking 'em dead at a new job From:anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Wed, 23 Feb 2000 17:09:04 -0700 (MST)
At 04:28 PM 2/23/00 -0500, you wrote:
Any suggestions about what to do when working for a
liar? Over the years,
I've had incredibly perfect bosses (several of whom
are still very close
friends). However, I had two who were congenital
For reasons which shall become apparent, I am asking
Eric to post this reply anonymously from me.
In my work history, I had one manager who fell into
the category of congenital liar.
He lied about 4-5 major things to me during the
interview process, and I wasn't the only one who
experienced such behavior. For some of the issues, it
took me months to figure out that what he had told me
during the interview was simply not true.
He continued to lie from time to time during the year
that he was my manager. For example, at one point he
told me and another employee that if we worked
overtime, we could take the time off at a later date
as comp time. This was fine while I was working tons
of extra hours; however, when I later got to the point
of actually trying to do this, he asked me, straight
faced, "Who told you that you could do that?" I
replied back that he had. He then sort of backpeddled
and told me that I could only take about 1/3 of the
"accrued" hours as comp time, which, I thought, was
better than nothing (by that time, the other employee
who had been told this was no longer with the
It still floors me that not only was this guy such a
dissembler, he more or less believed his own lies, and
simply adjusted his world view to accommodate being
confronted with contradictory information without ever
seeming aware of his own behavior.
How to handle this in a manager? Quitting is a viable
option, in my opinion. If for whatever reason you
choose to stay, then confronting him/her (possibly in
a subtle way) with the contradictory facts, is
another. In my case, what worked was the passage of
time. He retired, and someone else took over his
position, about a year after I started.
Oh, and one other thing. If you have any special
understandings/considerations that are part of your
job offer, have the company put these in writing, such
as in your offer letter. If they don't do this, then
at the very least write your own letter to the company
at the time of accepting the offer, stating your
understanding of what was discussed. In my case, I
was told during the interview that I would be able to
telecommute part time starting a few months after I
started the job. It is now several years later, and I
am just now (hopefully) going to be able to start to
do this soon. "Buyer beware!"
Forwarded anonymously on request. If you want the
original poster to see your response, you must reply
to the TECHWR-L list. All direct replies to this
message are automatically discarded. Contact Eric
ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com with questions.